[Advaita-l] Why should I believe in Adwaita vedanta over any other Philosophy?

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Mon Oct 25 23:27:22 CDT 2010

Hari OM, Umashankar ji,

On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 6:14 PM, Umashankar V <urshankar at gmail.com> wrote:
> The problem is that of reference of what is absolute and what is not. In all
> philososphies , except Charuvaka and buddhistic literature, there is
> acknowledgement of existence of The Lord.

Factually, not even all the six systems of orthodox Indian
philosophies talk of God, let alone Buddhism or Jainism.

> The Lord is The Self in Advaita. The Lord is the Supreme Lord in non-advaita
> philosophies where in some maintain that a human can never be or become the
> Lord and that he can only be aspiring in devotion to The Lord and do service
> unto Him.

Bhagavatpada, therefore, doesn't accept that such a servant separate
from That is free.

One must take time to choose the Guru
> (given today's circumstances of having to see god-men everywhere with
> excellent spiritual lingo but not essentiually spiritual stature..) , there
> are genuine acharyas and Gurus available for the seeker and they need not be
> in ochre robe or in the garb of an announced ascetic.

Bhagavatpada Shankaracharya mandates the Guru to be shrotriya, even if
not brahmaniShTA since the latter is a qualification that an aj~nAni
shiShya cannot recognize. The former is a must
within the tradition. In the strictest of the traditions, the Guru
will have to be necessarily a saMnyAsin. On a related note, I just
returned from Rishikesh and had the good fortune to visit an
ashram where prasthAna trayA, prakaraNa granthAs, etc, are taught in
the sampradAyik manner. There, even the student has to be a naiShTika
brahmacAri to study and is also required to
wear ochre!

Once a seeker
> identifies a Guru, one must TOTALLY surrender to the Guru and then from
> there onwards, the spiritual journey is fully the Guru's responsibility, not
> his... Hence the importance to choosing the right Guru, a genuine one.  Here
> too, the choice is made by the soul and not the ego-prone mind.

I don't think soul chooses anything. The Atman is ever-free and
without any action. By saying that the soul chooses, its like saying
that the soul acts, which is not true, being sAkshi mAtra.

> This will ensure, that one has reached the right path of progress and will
> eventually reach The Lord or The Self as the Lord deems fit!...
> *The point of whether advaita or non-advaitic philosophies are better has NO
> PLACE whatsoever in a true, genuine seeker's mind.  A true seeker should
> seek a Guru , his faith and prarabda will lead him, not his mental
> decisions.*

How will a true seeker seek a Guru if he has no opinion on advaita or
non-advaita philosophies? One has to know if the Guru is a shrotriya
as per advaitic tradition. Else he will not know a Guru
in the first place.

> If this question is still there, then the seeking is not spiritual but
> rather superficially mental for academic and self-aggrandising pursuits
> driven by the ego. There can be no two thoughts about it.

Its just one side of the coin. The j~nAna mArga, especially as sown by
Bhagavatpada Shankara, needs a deep study of prasthAna trayA and
prakaraNa granthAs, so one can resolve the
dvandva that a thinking mind has. Such study appears to be academic
but need not be so. Only if one has the shravaNa in some life can one
do proper manana. As Bhagavan Ramana says
the mind seeking itself is like a thief acting as police and this is a
pitfall that is avoided by right manana led by shAstra j~nAna. The
shAstra vAsana can drop only then, else its just the mind
fooling one as to leading on to spiritual seeking, but actually
wanting to survive its own nAsha.

> A person in duality , in maya, can never PROVE non-duality with dual devices
> at disposal wihtin this world.

Hence the need for a traditional Guru who uses the very tools of this
duality to prove the non-duality. This is akin to the dream lion which
can not only wake one into the reality of the world, but
also make him sweat and tremble in fear.

sadAshiva samArambhAM shankarAcArya madhyamAM asmadAcArya paryantAM
vande guru paramparAm.h. Glory to the tradition.

--Praveen R. Bhat
/* Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known!
[Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

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